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Sneaky Departure
The party wakes up in the morning, only to realize that the hero has slipped away in the night and is gone. "Oh damn, he went alone" ensues, as it's obvious the hero went on a dangerous solitary errand - or worse yet, went to fight the Big Bad alone.

This trope covers all kinds of important sneaky departures on behalf of major characters.

It's an unplanned (or is it?) one-man variant of Let's Split Up, Gang. The hero might just value their freedom, despite being a good team player so far. Maybe This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself, or just wants not to endanger the party, or not to be hindered by them. Additional points for a Heroic Sacrifice, where he did it to win the More Hero Than Thou argument in advance, not so many if we have a Face-Heel Turn, but even more points for proving to be a Fake Defector. After all, sometimes In the End, You Are on Your Own. Often indicates an upcoming Duel Boss.

On the practical side, the hero might sometimes make a Sleeping Dummy to distract the team, or resort to Percussive Prevention if someone insists on tagging along.

In RPGs this might lead into a "follow the splitter" episode, or a Solo Sequence where the player gets to control the splitter. If the splitter is a Guest Star Party Member, they might just leave with very valuable equipment on them.

Contrast Never Split the Party. Not to be confused with Stealth Hi/Bye.

Examples

Comics
  • Tintin comic "Explorers on the Moon" has Frank Wolff sneak out and sacrifice himself to save oxygen for the rest of the team, cutting the wires around the door to make sure no alarm sounds.

Film
  • Clash of the Titans (1981). While on the journey to Medusa's island, Perseus and his soldiers take off in the middle of the night, leaving Andromeda behind (and Ammon to look after her). Perseus doesn't want Andromeda to be present when the big fight with Medusa occurs because of the danger to her.

Literature
  • The Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo splits, though is soon followed (and joined) by Sam.
  • In Azure Bonds, a Forgotten Realms classic, Alias runs on her own into the besieged Yulash and ends up freeing Moander. Later, Akabar leaves Olive's company in a similar fashion, invisible.
  • The Belgariad. At one point, some of the heroes sneak out early in the morning and leave a note. Most of those they left behind are not impressed.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe has Edmund, who sneaks away from the beavers' house to join the White Witch.
Live-Action TV

Videogames
  • Final Fantasy
  • Sagacious Zu in Jade Empire, around the time you infiltrate the Lotus Assassin headquarters, a decision he advised against.
  • Zelos does this on a few occasions in Tales of Symphonia, including the Tethe'alla Base and Flanoir. He's actually a spy for Cruxis and the Renegades.
  • In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Layton does this and when he comes back, it's actually Don Paolo in disguise, and so does Luke later on due to being upset by his father planning to move, separating him from Layton.
  • Pinocchio in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. While Gepetto says he's happy as long as Pinocchio is around, Pinocchio blames himself for them being stuck inside Monstro and wants to find a way out, sneaking off to do so.


Recruitment By RescueTeam Shuffle TropesSolo Sequence
Smite Me, O Mighty SmiterNarrative DevicesSnowball Lie

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